Mood health is usually a result of multiple factors and stressors which weave a web that ultimately affects physiology and brain function. Overall health, environmental toxicity, and more are considered factors of mood health.
Mood health is usually a result of multiple factors and stressors which weave a web that ultimately affects physiology and brain function.
Directly addressing stress is important, and physical factors which include sleep issues, digestive health, hormonal balances, healthy inflammation balance, food intake,diet quality, nutrient deficiencies, exercise levels, and healthy blood-sugar balance can either contribute to or help to resolve stress, when managed appropriately.
Additionally, overall health, mitochondrial function, genetic predisposition, epigenetic influences, environmental toxicity, healthy neurotransmitter balances, and more are also considered as factors of mood health.
Appropriately addressing these many factors begins with listening to a person’s unique story and circumstances. Testing can then help assess nutrient status, healthy blood-sugar metabolism, healthy inflammation balance, hormones, toxic exposures, genetic predispositions, and neurotransmitter balances.
Once you’ve compiled all of that data, you can create a practical plan for your patient that addresses the following eight key areas of health.
Assure proper sleep. Sleep is a foundation for restoring brain and nervous-system balance. Sleep is also the time the brain and body can detoxify, balance inflammation, and build mitochondria.
Reduce stress and promote relaxation rituals. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients change stressful thought patterns that tend to recur. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, reiki, and other stress-management techniques help the conscious mind send signals to the primitive brain to calm and re-engage. Your patients will usually migrate toward one practice or another. Routine massage or acupuncture can further promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Exercise appropriately. Exercise will help with your patient’s digestive function, reduce stress hormones, and improve sleep. However, excessive exercise can sometimes contribute to endocrine dysfunction and nutrient loss.
Consume healthy foods and water. An anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-style diet that’s low in sugar, higher in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats is a good place to start. Once you get to know your patient and his or her particular sensitivities, then an individualized diet plan may be more suitable. For many patients, removing gluten from their diet can improve mood outcomes. Meanwhile, proper hydration supports nervous-system function.
Check in on toxins. Exposure to mold, mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and chemicals may catalyze or complicate mood issues. Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, and many other infections can also create challenging environments for optimal nervous-system function.
Spend time in nature. Nature heals. Sunlight increases vitamin D and supports healthy serotonin levels. Fresh clean air provides more oxygen. It helps the lungs detoxify and helps the immune system. It has been noted that the essential oils in the air which are emitted from the trees and plants in fields and forests also have benefits.
Supplement as needed. While there’s usually no single supplement that can address all the factors that lead to mood concerns, an approach that synergistically addresses overall health and physiologic balances may yield the best results. Supplements may be used to support mood, motivation, concentration and calm.
Given the known impact of nutrition on mood it’s not surprising that the best place to start is with healthy diet, and some basic but important nutrition foundations may provide additional support:
A multivitamin/multimineral supplement with active folate and other B vitamins. Patients with MTHFR gene mutation do not activate folate properly, which can lead to deficiency with mood effects.